As the clock dwindles until the start of training camp, preseason and eventually the regular season, ESPN and CBS Sports have released, or are in the midst of releasing their top-100 players.
CBS Sports released their full top-100 list Tuesday; ESPN has released 100-26, but won’t have their top-100 fully released until Friday.
A total of four Miami Heat players earned top-100 honors in CBS Sports’ rankings: Tyler Herro, Kyle Lowry, Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler, who cracked their top-10.
Here were their rankings:
76. Tyler Herro
“Pat Riley made it clear: If Herro wants to be a starter, let alone regarded as highly around the league as he feels he deserves to be, then he needs to be a two-way player. Offensively, Herro, who hit 40 percent of his 3s and registered 0.96 points per possession as an off-the-dribble shooter last season, per Synergy, is Miami’s most threatening pick-and-roll initiator. But the defense has to improve. He can’t be a target or Erik Spoelstra is going to hesitate to play him down the stretch of key games or in the playoffs.” - Brad Botkin
66. Kyle Lowry
“A hamstring injury hampered Lowry’s first playoff run with the Heat, but he delivered as promised when he was healthy. At 36, he can still scale his offensive role up or down depending on what the team needs, and he’s still one of the best help defenders in the game. His presence made Miami much faster and more switchable, and it lessened Jimmy Butler’s playmaking burden. His challenge now is to prove that he can hold up for a full season, playing the same physically demanding style that made him a perfect fit. — James Herbert.” - James Herbert
28. Bam Adebayo
“Adebayo is one of the league’s premier defenders while functioning as one of Miami’s main facilitators. He’s an elite high-post hub who has shown deft touch in the 10-foot range and who will slip handoffs with great opportunism. Pencil Adebayo in for something near 20 and 10, but don’t get your hopes too high about him becoming a super aggressive scorer. That’s when he can leave you wanting more.” - Botkin
10. Jimmy Butler
“No more sleeping on Butler as a superstar. You could argue there aren’t more than seven or eight guys you’d rather have on your side in a playoff series. Since arriving in Miami, Butler has taken a more pass-heavy approach in the regular season before turning up the scoring in the playoffs. Butler puts his defenders on ice with pump fakes and footwork, and he drew a foul on over 20 percent of his shot attempts last season, per Cleaning The Glass. And when you convert 87 percent of your free throws, well, that’s creeping into prime James Harden territory.” - Botkin
Here are ESPN’s, so far. Instead of a standard description, they decided to pose “one big question” for each player entering 2022-23.
In the meantime, let’s see who ranks where:
61. Tyler Herro
“One huge question for 2022-23: How much of a distraction will a lack of an extension be? It remains to be seen whether or not Herro will be able to get a contract extension hammered out before the season, but if it doesn’t happen, how much will that linger over the organization? Herro said after last season that he would like to be in the starting lineup after capturing the Sixth Man award in 2021-22.” - Nick Friedell
60. Kyle Lowry
“One huge question for 2022-23: Will he be in better shape? Heat president Pat Riley made reference to Lowry’s conditioning after the season, and it remains to be seen if the 36-year-old will be able to play at the same level he did in Toronto. With two years and over $60 million remaining on Lowry’s contract, the Heat don’t have much choice other than to hope Lowry can turn it around after a lackluster first season in Miami.” - Friedell
Oh, and that guarantees Bam Adebayo and Butler top-25 rankings!
This is a developing story. Stay tuned for updates.